Introducing Two of my Astellas Teammates(Comments Off on Introducing Two of my Astellas Teammates)
Two of my Astellas teammates are Ryan Aitcheson, 25, from Kitchener, Ontario (Canada) and Olly Moors, 19, from West Sussex (England).
Ryan is one of the best criterium racers in North America. He is also my longest standing teammate. It’s been four years now. You’d never guess what he was capable of doing in a race if you met him on the street or just out riding. He’s stop, say hi, invite you for coffee and probably pay for it for you. Olly has only been on club teams up until this point. He’s now a professional and he and I are teammates; Ryan and I passed Olly on the way home from our ride and he told us about a racing memory, because I asked.Full Story»
A Visit to Friends in Girona, and some Motorpacing(Comments Off)
When I count up all the brilliant places I get to visit, or live in, or pass through, they’re in their hundreds. When I try and recount whether or not I have made the most of all the places I’ve been in, the answer is a resounding no. I decided that was about to change. For the last three years I have spent the winter on the South-East coast of Spain in my apartment down here.
I haven’t left Andalucia, the Southern most province of Spain. I have two ex-teammates in Girona, a 10 hour drive northwards. Different roads and my friends were the biggest attractions. However, the stars must align…
Starting Again; Training on Sanibel Island, Florida(Comments Off)
Florida would be a great place for time-trialling. Its pan flat. The only elevation you find are bridges. It’s flatter than both Holland and Belgium which is saying something. It’s rarely windy which means as soon as you’re out riding holding 20mph (32kph) is child’s-play.
That makes riding really quite fun. Endurance rides are around 35kph and you really get the miles clocked up. Sometimes it feels like you’re in a race you’re going so fast.
Our pal Craig Geater works as a mechanic for the Orica GreenEDGE team, and is putting in the hard shifts at the Tour de France.
Like everyone involved in the race, he’s very busy, but when he has his iPad or phone in hand he’s been taking a moment or two to snap some images, and fire them over to us.
I haven’t raced since September 1st. I’ve been working hard though, on Swift Momentum Sports (SMS), and restoring an old building and of course, some training. SMS is doing pretty well. I’m glad to have shown people some fantastic cycling and running, as well as to have trained some very good athletes. My professional cycling career, however is pretty much over. I wasn’t renewed for the 2014 season.
The past year, I and my colleagues signed up to pretty bad working conditions, but this sacrifice allowed the team to continue. The oldest supposedly professional team in the world. Last season I had a couple of doors open to go else where, nothing brilliant, but new opportunities. Hanging on at Tavira felt kind of good though, like the work had a higher purpose. I’m not averse to risk nor struggle and working on such a project is tantalizing. Mid-season a sponsor came along with the ‘old’ management and the new team was killed off effectively…
So its been a few months since my last blog posting but now a week into my off-season its time to put some words together and sign off on this 2013 season.
Having stepped on the plane to the USA way back on February 4th and now already in November its been a busy nine months; five months in the USA to start with and four months between USA/Belgium/UK is a lot of km’s covered… by plane, car, boat and of course by bike!
I want to continue racing, I’ve got a lot to give and a lot to improve. If I can’t race, working within the sport would be fantastic too. I would be good in many roles within the sport. Maybe if all goes arse-ways and I have to leave I’ll set up my own team some time into the future.
The fact I feel tranquil now is the fact I’ve got an education, a business and I have lived my dreams as a cyclist. I’m looking forward and I’ll keep riding my bike. I love cycling.
It’s my third Volta a Portugal and I really feel lucky to get here. My form is good, possibly the best ever. Obviously I get the odd pang of paranoia; I think twice if I drink a beer, worry about food – kind of stupid really. I slimmed down by three kgs for the Volta, which is basically my lightest ever racing weight and only now am I realising I’ve got margin to loose more.
One thing about being a roulleur/domestique here is that there’s really no pressure to loose loads of weight like the climbers, who have to get really skinny. There was the usual presentation for the Volta. We were in a mad rush and it was stressful.
Once again its been a hectic month or two and so too much to write about in a single blog post.
I really should start writing a book!
So I am going to keep this fairly short and sweet focusing on another victory added to season 2013 and a return to Europe after 5 months away!
This race is the last tune up for the Portuguese peloton before the biggest race of the season, the Volta a Portugal. A lot of the teams turn out very strong for Agostinho, as it’s known. The amateur teams also turn out strong since the race is a 2.2 and the pinnacle of their calendar, aside the ‘Volta a Portugal do Futuro’.
British teams have had good performances in this race. Last year Endura lost the yellow jersey of Iker Camaño only on the last day. And the year before that Ian Bibby had an excellent showing but fell apart under the onslaught of the Portuguese teams on a very hard circuit race on the last day. My team won the last two editions of the race.
I haven’t written on this blog for a while. The reason for this was that I was kind of getting tired of whining on about bad luck, hard times and other problems. No one wants to read that and no one cares. So I decided to keep calm and hang tight till good news come along.
The good news that has come my way is that after an incredibly tough three years suddenly I have some breathing space regarding ‘making a life’, as well as my future as a cyclist.
So its been a long time since my last blog posting way back at the end of February.
Though I was looking to keep the posts coming frequent, the simple fact of the matter is I’ve been in a pretty uninspired writing mood over the past months.
The 2013 Season has started for the Bicycleworks u23 team. New faces have arrived into the nine man team with new additions Kevin Barclay, Steven Lawley, Gus Gillies and Duncan Ewing. The rest of the team stays the same with Douglas Shaw, me, Andrew Cox, Callum Wilkinson and Craig Dale completing the line up.
Winter training went pretty smoothly for everyone, each of us having our own troubles with the ice and snow, but on the whole we arrived at the season opener last weekend with everyone in good shape.
So this is my first blog post from across the pond aka stateside aka the USA. Despite everything tending to be bigger here in the US, I intend to keep my blog postings shorter and more frequent this year (well this is the plan!).
Its been a little over 3 weeks now since I took off from London Heathrow. A smooth flight to Philadelphia was followed by some airport time before another flight onto Greensboro, North Carolina. From there it was a short drive to Winston-Salem and the home town of Team SmartStop P/B Mountain Khakis. A longggg day but I had made it and I could begin to relax.
The racing season rapidly approaches and for me in 2013 that will mean the USA! Those that know me and those that have followed my progression in the cycling world here on my blog will know how much that has involved Belgium.
The Belgium chapter will continue I can assure you of that. However for season 2013 the USA beckons and a chance to try and make an impact on the American cycling scene and a chance to continue making my way in the sport. And so to my new team for 2013, Team SmartStop P/B Mountain Khakis. A US Continental cycling team based in North Carolina.